This watch from Montblanc ($7,480) emphasizes how style and sophistication can come in one small package. But what we really want to talk about is the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Collection. Notice the name Nicolas Rieussec on the watch? Do you know who he was? Nicolas Rieussec was a French watchmaker and he invented the chronograph.
A historical moment occurred on September 1st in 1821, at a horse race in Paris, when the watch maker Nicolas Rieussec succeeded in recording the time of every horse passing by the finishing line to an accuracy of a quarter of a second. A remarkable achievement: before that Saturday in Paris, time could not be accurately measured.
The revolutionary device which allowed him to measure the time was a wooden case containing a clock movement with two rotating discs beneath an ink-filled tip. By pushing a button, the tip would come into contact with one of the dials leaving a visible mark to measure the time.
Taking the Greek word for time; chronos, and graphein; to write, Nicolas Rieussec had invented the very first chronograph.
After six months, on March 9th in 1822, Nicolas Rieussec was finally awarded a patent to protect his idea and the chronograph received its first official recognition.
Even though chronographs have as a matter of course developed considerably since 1821, Nicolas Rieussec’s invention continues to serve as an inspiration for Montblanc’s master watchmakers. The principle of the two rotating discs is the key element which gives the timepieces of the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Collection a highly distinctive face.